Monday, April 30, 2012

YOP Update

I have really fallen off the Year of Projects updates and progress.  I had a pile of ongoing WIPs when I added this to the mix and have not kept up at all...  The only project from my original YOP list that I have ongoing is my Natural Beauty Wrap.  This had been put aside for some time and I have recently dug it out and am back to working on it.  I have caught up with almost all of my other WIPs and have several that converted to finished objects. I have finally come close to finishing this project!!  The crochet is done! I need to tuck in the tails and soak in preparation to block it later today!  I will be very happy when this is done - it is really pretty but I am getting tired of it and am eager to start something new!!  Here is an update photo of my progress (I'll post the after-blocking photo next week!):

I am not sure what project to start next!  I have an afghan I need to crochet for my niece's birthday so that will be taking up some of my time for the next while.  Maybe I should aim for one of my smaller projects!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 7

The prompt for today:
Crafting Balance Are you a knitter or a crocheter, or are you a bit of both? If you are monogamous in your yarn-based crafting, is it because you do not enjoy the other craft or have you simply never given yourself the push to learn it? Is it because the items that you best enjoy crafting are more suited to the needles or the hook? Do you plan on ever trying to take up and fully learn the other craft? If you are equally comfortable knitting as you are crocheting, how do you balance both crafts? Do you always have projects of each on the go, or do you go through periods of favouring one over the other? How did you come to learn and love your craft(s)?

I currently have four projects that are in progress - two are knit and two are crochet.  It looks like I equally divide my time between the two and that I am currently balanced :)  For me I find that one craft is more preferable for certain projects.  I prefer knitting socks over crochet socks because to me they feel nicer.  I prefer crocheting afghans over knitting them because it is much quicker for me to crochet a large project, although I like making both crochet and knit baby blankets.  My project page on Ravelry shows a fairly even mix of the two crafts.  I started out with crochet and have learned to knit comfortably more recently.  I have been crocheting for close to twenty years but only knitting for about five years.  One of my favorite crochet finishes is my Around the World crochet quilt.

Along with socks, I also enjoy knitting shawls.  Here is one of the shawls I have knit:

I also like to crochet shawls.  Here is a shawl I crocheted that I really love:

This brings to a close blogging week.  I have enjoyed this week very much - just as I enjoyed this last year.  I have had a great time reading other blogs this week, I have found some new blogs to follow, and I have had a blast writing in my own blog. 

To see more great blog week entries check this thread on Ravelry or enter 3KCBWDAY7 into any search engine.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 6

The prompt for today is:
Improving Your Skill set How far down the road to learning your craft do you believe yourself to be? Are you comfortable with what you know or are you always striving to learn new skills and add to your knowledge base? Take a look at a few knitting or crochet books and have a look at some of the skills mentioned in the patterns. Can you start your amigurumi pieces with a magic circle, have you ever tried double knitting, how's your intarsia? If you are feeling brave, make a list of some of the skills which you have not yet tried but would like to have a go at, and perhaps even set yourself a deadline of when you'd like to have tried them by.

Over the past year or so my skills have increased significantly.  In 2011 I knit nearly 26 pair of socks.  I chose various patterns and learned various techniques.  I have done toe up and top down, I have done lace, cables and other stitches, I have tried various types of heels, and enjoyed it all!  I am always interested in learning more!  There are several things I want to learn over the next year or so.  One of my New Year's resolutions for this year is to learn how to design my own sock patterns.  I have not done this yet and the year is nearly 1/3 over!  My goal is to create a few of my own patterns, have them tested, and then make them available on Ravelry.  There are other knit techniques that I would like to work on this upcoming year as well.  Some of my goals for the rest of 2012 are:

1) design a sock pattern (or two or more)
2) try more colorwork knitting.  I really want to try Norwegian mittens!!  I have this pattern and want to make it for my sister for Christmas. 
Photo from Leigh on Ravelry
3) I need to conquer knitting with laceweight yarn - I have done all sorts of lace but in fingering weight.  I have tried a few patterns in laceweight but struggled with them and gave up.  I can crochet with lace weight but knitting must be conquered as well!!

To see more great blog week entries check this thread on Ravelry or enter 3KCBWDAY6 into any search engine.

Friday, April 27, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 5

The prompt for today:
Something A Bit Different It's back, and this time it has the most amazing of prizes (look for the prize for 'most creative post'). This was a massive success last year, and for many it was the highlight of the Blog Week, so this year you are challenged, again, to find a new way of blogging.

I looked out my kitchen window one day and saw this bird down on the riverbank!
 I wonder what kind it is??

The next day the bird was there again!
 Now I need to sneak down there and see if I can get a closer view (and pictures) 
Maybe she is nesting down there!!

HAHA Jokes on me - this is not a bird but it was the remains of a tree that the beavers had taken away...
I honestly thought it looked like a bird from my kitchen window!

To see more great blog week entries check this thread on Ravelry or enter 3KCBWDAY5 into any search engine.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 4

The prompt for the fourth day is: 
A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons? As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?

I  absolutely have a seasonal aspect to my crafting!  I live in a climate where I see all four seasons and have hot summers and cold winters.  It will be rare to see me working on a large project such as an afghan during the hot weather.  Maybe if I had air conditioning I would work on anything all year long, but I can't tolerate the extra heat of working on a big, heavy project when it is hot!  I am almost breaking out in a sweat just thinking about that!!

During the warm weather I tend to work on smaller projects like socks - that way I will have lots of socks to wear once the weather cools down again.  During the winter I am very happy to work on large toasty projects.  There is an appreciation for afghans during the cold weather in my home :)  It makes me happy to see my afghans in demand!  Actually the hubby would be quite happy to keep extra afghans on the bed almost all year round - once the temperatures are nice and warm the afghans need to be put away until the cold weather rolls around again.

To see more great blog week entries enter 3KCBWDAY4 into any search engine.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 3

Our prompt for today:
Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it's really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don't forget to show them off. Remember to get permission from the owner if you wish to use another person's pictures.

I have many knitting and crochet heros!!  For a start - anyone who designs patterns is my hero!  This is something I aspire to (more on that another blog week day)  But if I had to narrow it down to just a couple (for space considerations here) my first hero would be Barbara Walker and her Learn to Knit Afghan book.  This book taught me a LOT!! I spent three years working on this afghan (in fits, not continuously) and I finally finished the afghan.  I am quite proud of it and found the project to be a great learning expereince.  I learned some types of patterns and stitches I did not like and others that I loved.  Here is a picture of my completed afghan:

My next hero is Cookie A and her sock patterns.  I recently learned to knit socks and since October 2010 when I finished my first pair until now I have made 31 pair of socks!! I suspect I may have a bit of a problem here.  I have my 32nd pair of socks nearly complete and have another pair set to cast on May 1st.  Yup - I think I have a sock kntting addiction.  I have made one pair of Cookie A socks and have many in my queue.  I have plans to knit several pair of her designs - I love them!!  I also love that she has instructions on how to design your own socks in her Sock Innovation book.  I have knit her Monkey Socks and here is a picture of them on my big feet:

To see more great blog week entries check this thread on Ravelry or enter 3KCBWDAY3 into any search engine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 2

Here is the promt for today's posts:
Photography Challenge Day!Today challenges you to be creative with your photography, and get yourself in with the chance to win the photography prize. Taking interesting photographs in this instance isn't about flashy cameras or a great deal of technical know-how, it's about setting up a story or scene in a photograph and capturing something imaginative. Your photograph(s) should feature something related to your craft, so that might be either a knitted or crocheted item, yarn, or one of your craft tools. One example of setting a scene would be to photograph a girl in a knitted red cape walking through the woodlands with a basket of goodies, as in the Red Riding Hood tale, or you might photograph a knitted gnome hiding among the flowers in your garden. Photo editing is permitted for competition photos. Here are a few examples of my own photographs to illustrate an imaginative use of photography, but you can do much better than these...

I spent some time contemplating what to post for today and finally I got some inspiration!  Our doctors tell us that including fiber in our diets is healthy and that we should aim to get an adequate amount of fiber each day.  Fruit is high in fiber right??

Fruit is high in fiber!
 To see more blog week posts type 3KCBWDAY2 into a search engine or see more posts listed here

Monday, April 23, 2012

3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 1

Colour Lovers - 3KCBWDAY1

Welcome to my first post for Blog Week 2012!!  I had so much fun with this last year I excitedly awaited this years event!!  Today our suggested topic is colour!  First off I love many colours!  I tend to be drawn to jewel tones the most, but I am not one who uses only a few colours.  I also make a lot of socks and I am finding that I am drawn to bright, loud colours for my feet - self striping or variegated yarns and lots of bright colours!!  Here are a few examples of colours you will find in my sock yarn stash:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP-it Wednesday (April 18th 2012)

I have managed to get myself down to four WIPs!!  This still may be too many as I am not spending time on each one - although I am trying to keep up and keep them each active.  Maybe three is an optimal number for me??  Anyway, here are my four WIPs

1) Mindless - this is my oldest WIP and the one that will likely continue to be on my list for awhile.  It is currently at 15 inches now and I have done some on this over the past few weeks.

2) Natural Beauty Wrap - this one is just past the half way point and I am tired of it...  It will be wonderful once it is done, but I am tired of it...

3) Odyssey - I am enjoying this one but can't wait until it is finished!! I now have Chart 14 compete and am at 46% complete!

4) Mystery socks - these are my first mystery socks and I am enjoying working on them!!  I have Clue 2 complete now and am ready to begin Clue 3 with the heel turns.

To see more WIPs head on over to Tami's Amis